The database containing 10GB worth of user information of three VPN services such as ChatVPN, SuperVPN, and GeckoVPN was leaked in the Telegram Groups.
On May 7th, 2022, the data of 21 million users was leaked, exposing the personal details and login credentials of the users.
The Data Breach:
Telegram uses encryption and offers its users anonymity. It is also easily accessible and doesn’t require any technical skills. This makes it the perfect platform for hackers to post data breaches, even more so if they want more people to have access to them.
The leaked records of users contain the following information:
- Full names
- Country names
- Billing details
- Email addresses
- Randomly generated password strings
- Premium status and validity period
“It appears that the passwords were either hashed and salted or random, without collision. This means each password hash is different, making them harder to crack”, say the experts from VPNMentor.
Also, 99.5% of the email addresses were Gmail accounts, which is much higher than the average percentage. This can be understood that the group who shared the dump shared a subset of data and not the entire dump.
The Possible Impact of the Breach
In this scenario, the experts say the affected users would become a victim of blackmail. The attackers might send phishing messages and scams to exposed users via email, using their full names and other personal details that only the company could know about, such as usernames, countries, or billing details, to build trust.
Hackers can read a password, take control of the user’s account, and take advantage of their premium status.
Also, the exposed database could end up in the hands of a restrictive government in a country where VPN use is banned or access to specific sites is blocked. This would allow the authorities to potentially arrest dissidents and VPN users.
Recommendations for Protection
Experts recommend VPN users change the password with a random combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols for utmost security. Also, ignore any suspicious SMS messages and emails and educate yourself about phishing attacks, scams, malware, and other forms of cybercrime.